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NA (1989-1997) NA Miata discussion within. The MX5's first generation, the NA, sold over 400,000 units from 1989 to 1997.

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Old 09-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #1
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I'm having a predicament I could use your advice on.

I bought my 95 back in 2006 and I am absolutely in love with this car. However, after the large amount of rain that found it's way into my trunk over the last few day, I started digging and don't like what I've found. Although never reported, it's obviously been in an accident. The trunk and rear right side have been welded on, and I found the seams where it was welded today. The seams themselves are beginning to rust through and made a small hole letting the water into the trunk. Coupled with 2 winters of Chicago driving (read SALT!) small rust spots are beginning to develop all over. The entire car has been repainted at some point in her life, and the paint is starting to flake off near the areas that were masked. Obviously a cheap paint job, but still looks good from 10 feet away.

She runs great. The engine bay is spotless, and I have pumped a lot of money into maintenance and new parts over the years. She runs strong. Did I mention I love this car?

Here's the pickle. I have a budget of about 5-6K to play with, and was planning to put a turbo system on it next month, but now I'm wondering if it's worth it. I have a lot of thoughts on my options of what to do. Here's what I am thinking:

1. Keep the 95, put the turbo on it, and buy a cheap winter beater so I can keep my Miata from ever seeing salt again.
Pros: Turbo Miata! Yay!
Cons: Already has rust and bad paint that will continue to drain on me and my wallet.
2. Buy another Miata from somewhere like Arizona and never let it see the winter roads here, While I use the 95 as my winter beater.
Pros: Another Miata! Yay!
Cons: Buying another NA will require enough in upkeep that I won't be able to afford the turbo system right now.
3. Buy winter beater, Sell the 95 for whatever I can get, and use the money towards another NA and the turbo system.
Pros: The end product will be closer to what I want. The ideal car for me is a pristine NA with F/I. (although I would like to have an NA and an NB.)
Cons: No Miata for a while. That would drive me bat-$#!^ crazy.

I'm really torn on this. The clock is ticking for me as winter approaches. Thoughts?
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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Lets see some photos of the damage and rust you have. I must admit I don't exactly know what would be best to suggest as there's very little problems with rust on the cars out here.
I don't know how you guys prevent your cars from copping problems arising from salt. Do you get the whole underside of the car painted in some kind of rust preventative? is there anything you can do that permanently stops it being a problem? The thought of a car you just don't drive in the winter is a bit foreign to me

I think I would forego power toys in favour of having a car in a good enough condition to later fit those toys.

If you were to get a second car or another MX5 wouldn't you still ultimately need to do whatever is necessary to one or both to prevent the rust?

I guess it really comes down to how bad the damage is on your current car and if its worth saving (the love you have for it counts for a lot, I can dig it!).
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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Here are the pics. The pink is rust dissolver and the blue is powder I was using to test the trunk seal. You can see the welded seam on the trunk floor. There really is no way to prevent the salt destruction. They put more of the stuff down here than there is road. The winter beater idea is just an econobox that can rust to hell and I wouldn't care as long as it got me to work and back. If I get a new Miata, I would never let it see a winter road. Too late for my current 95.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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personaly, i would bust the grinder out and clean up all the area. then go down to the paint supply store or autoparts store and get a tube of seam sealer. seal the ---- out of it. wait for it to dry and paint over top of it. or you could reweld all the area and then use the seam sealer your choice.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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From the outside looking in, I have no emotional connection to your current NA.

I think you could easily find an ALREADY turbo NA for your current budget of $5-6K. Only after you buy that, sell the one you have now. Use the money to upgrade any parts of the turbo system you are not happy with or want to take to the next level.

This allows you to keep your current car for a while longer - being patient to find the right turbo car for the right price. You can try to fix your current car up yourself while shopping for your turbo car, making your current car easier to sell when it comes time.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #6
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First. How many colors has this car been? I see Blue, Green and White. The 95 is a great car to turbocharge because it is the last year of the OBDI electronics. But I would really check out the body thoroughly because I guarantee you that other problems have been covered up, and will most likely start to show in the future.

If it were me, I would find a rust free, un-wrecked Miata. Make that your garage queen, and drive or sell the 95 you have. Once the bodies start to rust out, there isn't much you can do (or would be worth doing) to save it, especially where you live, and the environment you are driving it in.

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Old 09-29-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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Oh, we should have met 6 months ago. I cut a rust free shell into scrap pieces that I could have given you to swap over all of your running gear. You should put feelers out on all the forums starting with miataturbo.net looking for a rust free shell that you could put your subframes and body panels onto. There are people with spares around if you just ask.







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Old 09-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #8
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i know of a guy in the Columbus, Ohio area that may be able to find you a shell if you want to go that route. ill see him sunday at autocross, ill ask him about it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:00 PM   #9
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I'd appreciate it, it's always a possibility.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTurboMiata View Post
i know of a guy in the Columbus, Ohio area that may be able to find you a shell if you want to go that route. ill see him sunday at autocross, ill ask him about it.
He does not have one worth it to you. both are going to be track cars.
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